Your best friend is looking rough lately. She is exhausted, drained, and not herself. You hear her say things like, “I suck at life right now”, or “I’m not smart enough to apply for that job”, or “Ew. I am so fat”. How do you respond to those kinds of remarks? Do you agree with her? Never! You would never agree with comments that are blatant lies about your bestie, even if SHE was the one saying them. You would tell her that everything she said is complete bullshit and she’s obviously in a rough spot. You build up her confidence, tell her all of the wonderful things about her, and remind her that she is so very important to you and many other people. Then, you pour two big glasses of wine, put on the most terrifyingly awesome face masks you can find, and just have fun existing with her.
When I moved back to IL from CO in 2017, I had to leave a really great, supportive network of friends. These are the friends that became my second family, and we still talk to each other at least a few times each month. Many of my IL friends had moved for jobs all over the country, and I had been living in CO for almost 6 years, so it was kind of difficult to just jump back in. Without my weekly wine nights, brunch dates, hiking dates, and just hanging out on the couch dates, I was lonely. Like, a lot. And being lonely takes a toll on your sanity and self-worth.
So, for a few months, I shit-talked myself to myself (great news if you can’t relate to that, but chances are most people can), and I was feeling the effects of it. I was sad, sick, and exhausted. Beating yourself up 24/7 is an energy-drainer, for sure. After finally running out of reasons to be mean to myself, something clicked and I was like, “why don’t you treat yourself like your besties would?” It takes less energy to be kind, thoughtful, and understanding than it does to make up outrageous lies about yourself and convince yourself to believe them.
I realized that although I am grateful for all of my incredible friends, it’s unfair to completely depend on them for pick-me-ups all the time. I learned that I had to pick myself up from time to time, so I came up with a plan: every time I think or say something shitty about myself, I ask, “How Would Your Best Friend Feel?” Then, I act accordingly and do something nice for myself. I go out to brunch, go for a long walk with the pups, redecorate something in my house, paint my nails, etc. I am also known for “accidentally” ordering things on Amazon when I need a pick-me-up. There’s nothing like getting a little gift delivered to your front door every d..- I mean.. every now and then.
It took about a month for me to get used to this completely foreign habit, but I will say that this little shift in perspective has changed my life. I slip up sometimes, but the bestie in me is right there to fix it and forgive. Being your own best friend allows you to care for yourself without feeling the unfair guilt that you are being selfish. You are not being selfish. You are showing some love to someone very important, and that someone is yourself. And when you feel loved, don’t forget to share that feeling…especially with your best friends that inspire you to be a better, happier version of yourself.